The beer that helped launch the craft beer revolution is being revived by the founder's daughter.
Classic beers aren't like classic wines. Whereas a 35-year-old Bordeaux might still taste fantastic today, any beer stashed since the '80s is going to be past its prime. Recreating a classic beer isn't easy either: The quality and character of barley and especially hops can change over time, and yeast is a literal living organism. But that hasn't stopped people from trying to revive classic brands. Christine Celis, daughter of Pierre Celis, recently relaunched the brewery that bears her family name, and with it, reintroduced Celis White, a beer that landed on our list of The 25 Most Important American Craft Beers Ever Brewed. Now, another classic from that list is getting a new lease on life under similar circumstances: New Albion Ale is returning thanks to Renee DeLuca, original brewer Jack McAuliffe's daughter—and it's coming back in cans.
New Albion Ale, which was originally brewed from 1976 to 1982, has risen from the grave before. Considered one of the first ever "craft" beers when it launched, the hoppy pale ale was brought back to life in 2013 with the help of Sam Adams' Jim Koch, an outspoken fan of the pioneering product. Since then, DeLuca has been working to steer the beer's legacy, which now includes putting one of the beer world's first hip products into the craft industry's latest hip packaging: cans.
"We're brewing again, yay!" DeLuca exclaimed this week, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. With the help of Cleveland's Platform Brewing, this newest incarnation of New Albion will be in six-packs of 12-ounce cans starting next month. "I wanted to bring it back in a way that was super convenient so people could take it on their boat or on the golf course—wherever they are going," she explained. Along with the new packaging, the beer is also getting a new label, with a reimagined take on its classic ship-on-the-open-sea logo. "It's Jack-approved," DeLuca added, speaking of her father.
Platform co-founder Justin Carson also spoke to the significance of New Albion Ale's most recent return. "We are excited to bring back this historic beer in cans so it can be distributed further and enjoyed by craft beer lovers throughout Ohio," he said in a statement. "It's clean, crisp refreshing taste is the foundation every craft beer that followed was built upon."
A release party is scheduled for October 5 at Platform Brewing's Cleveland taproom. Rumor has it that Jack McAuliffe will even be in attendance.